Got a Grinch on your list? Wait, you ARE the Grinch? Instead of dropping into your local drugstore two hours before a gift exchange to grab an on-sale roll of Garfield-with-a-Santa-hat wrapping paper that really doesn’t communicate your true sentiments, why not make your own? And you can customize it with your own Grinchy design (or, you can make something beautiful to envelop your heart-felt holiday gifts).
It will only take 15-minutes. Why wouldn’t you?
Play Date: The Zing
The first step in making wrapping paper is to start with a doodle of your own doing. Decide what you want to adorn your gifts with to give your recipients an extra zing. Think about breaking it down to its basic shapes (a detailed sketch of the night sky complete with accurate constellations and the planet mars is still just made up of basic shapes). Sit down with a pen and paper and start by warming up:
- Keep your hand loose and your grip relaxed – this is supposed to be ‘play’, remember Grinchy-Poo?
- Use simple shapes – a circle over and over on itself. A swirl. A dot. A square. A cylinder.
- Build your image with texture and shading. Or not. Keeping it ‘flat’ and simple is great too.
Once you are satisfied, it is now time to make it digital. Use your smart phone:
For Android, the free Google Drive app makes it super easy: Open it up and click on the ‘+’ button at the bottom on the right. Choose “Scan”. You can then edit the image with the settings provided. It will save as a .pdf to your drive – download it to your desktop.
For iPhone or iPad, use the free app Scannable from Evernote. It will automatically pic up your image and take the scan. You can adjust the crop, orientation and enhance color. It will then allow you to email the image, share it or airdrop it to your desktop.
Find more tips on digitizing your image in this article from the How-To Geek.
Zazzle.com is awesome. You can slap your design on a variety of cards, stickers, t-shirts (even phone cases). Here are the steps to make wrapping paper once you have a digital image of your doodle:
1. Click here and follow the directions to add your doodle (hint: Click on the “Add Image” button).
2. Once you’ve added your image, you can play with customizing it. If you don’t want it to be a ‘scene’ layout, but want a more traditional repeated pattern, then click on ‘Design Area: Tile.’ You can make your doodle fit to the available space by choosing ‘Arrange: Resize Image to Fill.’
3. You can also add text, should you want to customize the paper with something like, “Happy Holidays from Ethyl” so that those on your holiday list know this is custom-crafted gift paper by you! Play with the color, position, and font until it looks how you like.
4. Finally, add it to your cart and purchase it. Ordering it in November will ensure it will be shipped to you in time to wrap up your goodies.
I know you probably have a pile of paper towel or toilet paper tubes stashed away for an emergency (who doesn’t?), but just in case you don’t, save a few this week when the paper runs out… for next week’s play date, of course. They are free, they are a cool shape, and we can make them into spectacular.
Stay tuned and subscribe if you haven’t already.
- Just once I’d like a bah-humbuger to express their Grinchitude with some legitimate sentiments through their gift giving. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all just real about it? Well, here is your chance to make some wrapping paper that does just that.
- If you want something ‘nice’ to wrap your presents in, but just aren’t ready to dive into Zazzle, you can order my paper. I made the paper pictured at left from the designs I made while going crazy over mandalas.
- Don’t forget to give Santa your Holiday Wish List for ideas on creative supplies to keep you sane through the holidays.